Although there is no shortage of galleries featuring excellent photography in the Santa Ynez Valley, the Arts Guild Room at Gallery Los Olivos is showcasing how one photographer blends technology with his art form.
Photographic artist and innovator Paul Roark has been chosen as artist of the month for a special exhibit of his work, which is on display through Oct. 5.
The stunning black and white images were created by an artist internationally collected and recognized for his contributions in advancing black-and-white printing technology via carbon pigments that result in archival-friendly photographic images.
The special exhibit in the Guild Room is coordinated with a second collection of the artist’s work. He is also featured artist in the Gallery Los Olivos front room. Both displays showcase nontraditional black and white photography print media.
“The GLO front room (is) called ‘Carbon on Canvas,’ which is my description of my process that uses inkjet printers to put my custom carbon ink sets onto canvas substrates for large displays,” Roark said. “The Guild Room display (is) called ‘Carbon on Cotton,’ which is how I describe my process of printing carbon pigments onto Arches watercolor paper. While the canvas is appropriate for very large prints, the ‘Carbon on Arches’ is, in my view, simply the most archival photographic medium possible.”
The carbon-carbon bond is the strongest in nature, the artist said. As a result, the carbon pigments are the most lightfast and stable pigments available. Arches watercolor paper, particularly because it is uncoated, is also expected to have a far longer life than any coated or laminated photographic paper.
“Laminates almost always delaminate over time due to differential expansion and contraction of the layers and the resulting stresses,” Roark explained.
Gallery Los Olivos is located at 2920 Grand Ave. in Los Olivos. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. For more information, call 688-7517.